NEW YORK -March 26, 1998--Accor,
the world's largest hotel and tourism company, announced plans today to
build its second four-star Sofitel hotel in Chicago, scheduled to open
The 400-room Hotel Sofitel will be constructed in a prime downtown location, on a 25,000 square-foot lot located one block west of North Michigan, at the corner of Chestnut and Wabash Streets. Accor North America President John F. Lehodey confirmed that the company has closed a transaction to purchase the land from Chestnut Park Limited Partnership, run by local Chicago developer Walter Kaiser of Kaiser Developers Inc. The land was purchased for $11.2 million. Accor North America enlisted the services of the Fifield Company, based in Chicago, to assist them with the site selection. Steve Fifield has a long association with Sofitel, having developed the 300-room Hotel Sofitel at O'Hare International Airport in Rosemont, which opened in February, 1987.
Accor North America has been seeking a second location in the city for some time. "We looked at more than 25 sites in the city for our new hotel," says Lehodey. "It was important to find a location in an affluent neighborhood that was convenient for and appealing to the business and leisure guests that Sofitel accommodates. This area is ideal."
Groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for the fall of this year. The plans for the Sofitel include a brasserie-style restaurant, a bakery and pastry shop managed by LeNotre (the famed French bakery), as well as 10,000 square feet of meeting space and on-site parking. The land is presently occupied by two three-story brownstones and a parking lot.
Accor North America currently manages seven Sofitel hotels in the United States, in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, San Francisco Bay and Washington, D.C., in addition to Chicago.
Construction is scheduled to begin on the eighth hotel, in New York
City, later this year. The new Sofitel will be Accor's second property
in New York; it also manages the three-star Novotel on Broadway at
The signing of the Chicago agreement underscores Accor's strong commitment toward developing the Sofitel brand in North America. Further expansion plans for Sofitel in the U.S. include acquisition and development in primary markets such as Boston, Dallas, New Orleans, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Worldwide, Sofitel's development plans include openings in Dubai, Ho Chi Minh City and Cape Town in 1998; Guatemala in 1999; and London in 2000.
Paris-based Accor currently operates 2,577 hotels representing more than 288,000 rooms in 70 countries. The Accor group encompasses five other major brands in addition to Sofitel and Novotel. These include Mercure, Ibis, Formule 1, Etap Hotel and Motel 6. Accor is a global services group, leader in four major core activities: hotels, travel agencies, car rental and service vouchers.
Accor North America is headquartered in Scarsdale, New York.